PH, Japan agribiz firms sign $500-M joint venture


A number of Philippine and Japanese agribusiness companies have teamed up for a $500-million joint venture that aims to source agricultural products in the Philippines for export to Japan.

In a press briefing on Friday, Philippine Aquamarine Resources Inc. (PARI) Chairman and President Renato Diaz said 15 Japanese agribusiness firms have partnered with three Philippine companies to build and operate processing and storage facilities in Luzon and Mindanao for a total investment of $500 million.

PARI is one of the local partner firms, including RVD Management Services Inc. and WDN General Santos.

Every Japanese firm will establish their own facilities but will be integrated based on their sites.

The locations of the facilities will be in General Santos City and Davao City for Mindanao, and Clark Freeport in Pampanga and Cagayan Economic Zone in Cagayan for Luzon.

Exports to be generated from the facilities are expected to hit 10 billion Japanese yen or $100 million in two to three years time, 60 percent or $60 million (about 6 billion yen) of which will come from unagi or eel exports.

This $100-million revenue generation will come from both finished products and raw materials of agricultural products.

In the first year, Diaz said the facilities would produce aquamarine products, with the intention to be a major supplier of Japanese delicacy unagi or eel.

He said the 6 billion yen worth of eel export would supply a chunk of the total 30 to 40 billion yen unagi market in Japan.

Agricultural products such as mangoes, coconut, pineapple, bananas will be produced later. Other products like vegetables, fruits and nuts are also being developed.

“Majority is for export to Japan. We’ll export as many as we can, but the requirement is at least 70 percent of the production (will go to Japan),” Diaz said.

“This will also provide us technology in these facilities. We don’t have the technology, they will provide the technology. We also have bottlenecks in storage. For Japan products, we need at least negative 60 celsius for storage facilities,” he added, citing that the new facilities will provide freezing storage of up to 70 degrees centigrade.

Diaz said the two- to three-year joint venture is expected to employ 8,000 workers both in farming and production, noting that this will contribute to uplifting the people in the rural areas.

The Japanese firms are also currently conducting research and development initiatives in further improving and strengthening the Philippine-Japanese agricultural value chain, and are poised to transfer the technologies in the facilities in the Philippines.

“The President said we should have these technologies, and we thank our Japanese partners for tapping our agricultural sector. With the new government, we will succeed,” Diaz said.

The 15 firms in the Japanese agribusiness consortium are: Nisshin Food Material Co. Ltd.; Yamato Global Express Co. Ltd.; Yamato Web Solutions Co. Ltd.; Yamato Transport Co. Ltd.; Showa Denko K.K.; Showa Denko Gas Products Co. Ltd.; North Japan Trading Co. Ltd.; Yuasa Trading Co. Ltd.; Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd.; Majend MAKCS Co. Ltd.; Hokkaido Ajinomoto Co. Inc.; MC Food Specialties Inc.; Showa Sangyo Co. Ltd.; Yokoyama Foods Co. Ltd.; and Tomoechan Co.


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